WARNING : The Wellington tunnels are fully booked on 8th and 10th April 2017 !
20 meters deep under the streets of Arras, discover the Wellington Tunnels, a place full of memory and emotion.
From November 1916, the British Army prepares the Spring offensive of 1917. They had the brainwave of having the town limestone medieval quarries linked together by the New Zealand tunnelling companies, to create a real underground quartering network, which could host up to 24,000 soldiers.
After going down 20 meters deep in a glass lift, the audioguided tour, accompanied by a courier, takes the visitors into the intimacy of the place. Strategic site as well as a living place, the quarry named Wellington by the New Zealand sappers preserves the memory of these thousands of soldiers billeted underground, a few meters from the frontline, before their surprise attack on the German positions in the morning of 9th April 1917 at 5.30 a.m. The raising to the surface, in the footsteps of these soldiers, will lead you to the shock of the battle, which you will experience through the projection of a film.
Also an emblematic memory place, the site of the Wellington tunnels, on the surface, offers a garden as well as a memorial wall, to render homage to the regiments of the First, Third and Fifth British Armies involved in the Battle of Arras.
The temperature down the Tunnels is 11°C. Take warm clothes.
Visits starting between 8.00 am and 10.30 am, between 12.00 am and 2.00 pm, between 4.00 pm and 6.00 pm benefit from the preferential rate.
Annual closures: 1st January, from 4th to 29th January and 25th December 2016
Visits start at set times. Any delay will mean cancellation of the visit, which will however have to be paid for.